Back to school for teens top 5 tipsIt is that time of year again when we are planning for our kids to return to school. Some of you dread this time of year knowing that routines and that dreaded lunch preparation time is at hand. Some of you, of course, are jumping for joy knowing the kids are getting the heck out of your house!

I always found getting teens ready for back to school is a much different process than when they were younger. High School is a different baby all around than middle school from my experience. Mornings in our house were much harder because as teens they stay up too late and getting up in the morning was not their favourite thing to do...especially for ugg school!

Here are my top 5 tips to preparing yourself and your teens for back to school:

#1 Don't overstress about school supplies. I found that they did not need nearly as much as when they were younger especially those first days. some basic supplies of loose leaf paper, a binder, pens, pencil and eraser. Wait until they are a few days in and have been to class a few times, then they will know what they actually need for each class.

Spring has sprung, the grass is rise, I wonder where my garden rake is? I know it is here somewhere?  Normally this conversation with yourself results in the decision that it is time to clean out the garage.

Alarm clock rings, time to start the day! You crawl out of bed…stagger into the kids room and poke them awake…make your way back to your room and start to get ready for the day…go

back into kids room and poke again… a bit harder as this time you really mean they need to get up! Then the day begins for real. “Mom? Where are my pants? I can’t find any clean socks! What’s for lunch? I need $10 for a field trip! Where’s the permission slip?” and the litany goes on.

Does this sound familiar to you? Most parents have had days like this and I know that for a lot of you this type of day happens all too often. Days full of frustration, chaos and tears! Are you ready to calm this chaos and create a routine for a smooth weekday morning transitions?

The answer to having a calm morning begins the night before! Creating an evening routine that includes planning for the next morning will deal with most of these issues, stop the tears, and end the frustration.

Here are some solutions to avoid Morning Madness days:

1. Plan lunches during the clean-up period after supper. Pre-package anything that can be prepared ahead of time and pack all non-refrigerated items in lunch bags at that time. Create a designated place on your kitchen counter for lunch bags. Getting the kids involved in helping pack their lunch bags and ready to go for the morning will allow them to make a few choices that they’ll be happy to eat the next day. All that should be left to do the next morning is to take things out of the fridge and heat up any hot items to go into their lunch bags.

2. Get all school paperwork signed before bed and check your main calendar to see if there are any special activities planned for the next day.

3. Pack school bags with any special needs for the next day such as gym clothes, sports equipment needed for after school activities and any signed paperwork (see #2).

4. Pick out your children’s school clothing for the next day, dealing with any laundry issues before bed. (You know, “But Mom, those aren’t my favourite jeans!” drama). Better to discover that the night before than at 7:00 am the next morning!

5. Plan breakfast the night before, ensuring everyone gets a good start to their day. Even if they will be eating on the run, plan what they will eat and have it ready to prepare so they get something into their tummy before school! I have one kid who does not do mornings very well. We have had to learn to accommodate her natural “I hate morning” behaviour by being prepared to give her something to eat as she gets dressed, otherwise she would not eat anything at all. (She just will not sit and eat breakfast as it takes away from that extra minute of sleep she feels she needs! LOL)

Dealing with the root causes of the dreaded Morning Madness Syndromes the night before can ease morning chaos and can make for a much less stressful and more peaceful start to the day!

Another journey is beginning in your life and the decision to sell your house has been made. Now what, is always the question. Where do you start?

As a Professional organizer I love and need systems and processes in my life, and getting organized to sell my house is no different. I need a list and to know what comes next.

So here is where I start:

First on the list is getting the house ready for sale, this happens before you ever let anyone even a real-estate agent see the house. My sister and I have a great track record for getting a house sold. It has never taken more than two weeks to find a buyer (okay results may not be typical but that has been our experience) what you don’t know or see is the weeks of work that went into the house BEFORE we ever listed it.